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Banking

GDP growth decelerates to 5.8% y/y in Q3.

GDP growth decelerates to 5.8% y/y in Q3. GDP growth decelerated to 5.8% y/y in Q3 from the revised 6% y/y increase in the previous quarter, the Czech Statistical Office (CSO) data revealed. Thus, the Q3 slowdown appeared lower than that expected by the markets, according to which the GDP expansion was to decelerate to 5.3%. In the first three quarters of 2006 GDP expanded by 6.1% y/y up from 5.9% y/y increase in Jan-Sep/2005. Exports, growing by 11.4% y/y, contributed most (9.7pps) to overall growth in Q3. However, the external sector lost its role of key source of economic growth which was observed in Q2/2004-Q1/2006 as its overall contribution to GDP expansion was only 0.4pp because imports increased by 10.6% y/y. Thus, fixed investments transformed to the main driving force behind the economic growth as they reported 7.2% y/y expansion in Q3, up by 0.5pp q/q, and their contribution reached 2pps. Their acceleration was mainly supported by the low interest rates and the favourable economic environment in the country. Meanwhile, the inventories increased by some CZK 24.2bn (EUR 855mn), representing 4.2% of GDP as compared to 6.6% in Q2, thus also contributing to the registered 13.6%

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